The 104th anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty will be celebrated across Estonia on Friday. Wreaths were laid in Tallinn and Tartu by representatives of the Defense Forces (EDF), members of the government, and politicians.
The treaty was signed on February 2, 1920, between Estonia and Soviet Russia. Russia agreed to recognize Estonia's independence and the borders of its territory. With the signing of the treaty, Estonia's War of Independence came to an end.
"Signed at Jaan Poska Gymnasium, the Tartu Peace Treaty, consisting of 20 articles, was a big step for small Estonia towards an internationally recognized independent state," said Estonian Military Academy's Cadet Sergeant Martin Melnitšuk in his speech on the anniversary.
"104 years later, however, the world is in a turbulent state, with tensions rising on many fronts and a sense of unease in Estonian society about the present and the future. Support for each other, for families, and for society as a whole is therefore increasingly important. With a small population, the contribution of each individual to the survival of our society and republic is critical."
The Tartu ceremony was also attended by city Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform), representatives of the EDF, Tartu City government, student corporations, and other higher education institutions.
In Tallinn, the commemoration event was held by the Jaan Poska monument in Tallinn's Kadriorg Park. Poska led the 18-month negotiations that ended in 1920.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) made a speech. Members of the EDF, including Commander-in-Chief Gen. Martin Herem, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center), and members of the government and Tallinn City Council.
More information about the treaty can be read on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website and how the agreement was reached on the International Center for Defense and Security's website.
Foreign ministers mark achievements of Estonian diplomacy
Estonia's present and former foreign ministers issued a joint statement on Friday highlighting the Tartu Peace Treaty as a triumph of Estonian diplomacy.
Tsahkna said the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty marked the start of Estonia's statehood but also the victory of Estonian diplomacy.
The statement focuses on Estonia's foreign policy accomplishments and the role of diplomacy in a changing world.
"To win Russia's war of aggression, we must support Ukraine and we must maintain our unity, both at home and among Allies. In the current tense circumstances, a particularly great responsibility falls on diplomacy. However, today's diplomacy cannot be conducted in a vacuum either," the statement says.
It was signed by Margus Tsahkna, Eva-Maria Liimets, Urmas Reinsalu, Sven Mikser, Jürgen Ligi, Marina Kaljurand, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Urmas Paet, Rein Lang, Kristiina Ojuland, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Raul Mälk, Siim Kallas, Riivo Sinijärv, Jüri Luik, Trivimi Velliste, and Jaan Manitski.
To celebrate this achievement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized Diplomacy Week.
Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Helen Wright